Lunchtime poll – nitty gritty
November 11th, 2010
02:30 PM ET
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CNN Digital Producer and on-air personality Derek Dodge got his very first taste of grits last night at Eatocracy's inaugural Secret Supper at Chef Linton Hopkins' Restaurant Eugene. Sure, he's a recent Atlanta transplant, but folks at the table were shocked, SHOCKED to learn that he'd made it this far in life without sampling this Southern staple.

His response - he'd always been put off by the name. Grits sound, well gritty. Point taken. Though they're exceptionally close in construct to Italian polenta, the name could be a tad repellent to those who've not been schooled in the ways of their creamy majesty. The chef agreed that perhaps a re-branding could help ensnare a phobic public - though he admitted a certain glee in straight-up saying "hog jowl" rather than "guanciale" and "lardo" rather than "white bacon."

For the record, Derek polished off the whole portion and seemed to enjoy every bite of those Anson Mills grits with braised beef short rib, roasted log-grown shiitakes, red wine jus, and baby carrots that Joe Reynolds of Love Is Love Farm has just picked 30 minutes before. He may not have been a grit eater, but that boy knows what's good.

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soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. Linda

    Born, raised southern, still in the south, never heard the term "calf slobber pie." Strange how others think 1 so called "treat" means treat for all.

    November 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  2. vanity

    blood meat

    blood sausage

    November 15, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  3. owen

    That good old southern rural treat, "Calf Slobber Pie".

    November 15, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  4. Zorengas

    Balut!! *gag*

    November 15, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  5. Sue

    Two Words:


    My grandmother made this stuff every time we came to visit when I was little. It was a jiggly, meat-and-fat-studded congealed mass of disgusting stuff that my dad used to smear on toast. (shudder). To this day, the thought of it makes my stomach churn.

    November 15, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  6. Scott

    Go to the UK and ask for a can of "Spotted Dick". Some kind of cake? Can't bring myself to.

    November 14, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
  7. Jay

    liver,beets and spam.i will get very light headed and feel like throwing up.

    November 14, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  8. Christine

    The only dish with a name that really turned me off was called "sh*t on a shingle." It was finely cut meat mixed into a sauce and poured over bread. It looked like something that had already been eaten. With a name like that, it's a wonder anybody ever ate it.

    November 14, 2010 at 6:42 pm |

    There's an old expression, "You'd chaw on your own ankle if you were hungry enough".

    November 14, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  10. JP

    I have had more problems with foods that sounded good and tasted like regurgitated salt and vinegar potato chips than foods that sounded bad. A haggis, when prepared by a butcher that truly loves his craft AND knows how to cook, can be a fantastic thing. There is no One True Recipe for haggis. each butcher makes their own version. I have had some terrible haggis and some absolutly wonderful haggis. SOme of it tastes like a big sausage with barley in it

    November 14, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  11. newhopebo

    ..the proof is now here...ENJOY..

    November 14, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  12. newhopebo

    ..sorry about the typo above..."a SWEET" East Indain Confection..

    November 14, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  13. newhopebo

    ..correct me if I'm wrong, but there is-or used to be a swwet East Indian confection known as "Baarfii" this still true??

    November 14, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  14. Yikes

    Spotted Dick sounds scary.

    November 14, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  15. Richard Adams

    'HOT BROWN" sounds disgusting.

    November 14, 2010 at 8:41 am |
    • gadzilla

      Yes, I agree. I just add the word "steaming" onto the beginning of that, and I can clearly visualise why it is so disgusting.

      November 14, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  16. diane


    November 14, 2010 at 7:15 am |
  17. Peter Rivard

    How about a fish sausage from Japan called Homo Sausage? It's actually sort of an acronym in Japanese (I forget what the "ho" and "mo" are for, though).

    November 14, 2010 at 6:13 am |
  18. maryis

    Hog maw; pig's stomach. Ugh to both names and ugh to even ever trying them

    November 14, 2010 at 3:28 am |
    • gadzilla

      Yes, I agree. The same goes for tripe and chitlins, they sound almost as disgusting as they are.

      November 14, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  19. Don

    Definitely. If it sounds nasty, I won't eat it. A bit close minded but There are plenty of non-vomit-inducing foods i'd still love to try without including various organs, fungi, and who knows what else.

    I've also had the opposite happen, where an inconspicuous name has lead to a foul feast. Pepper Pot sure sounds tasty... It looked like a tomato-based peppery stew with chicken and vegetables. When I got the can opened and heated, the scent was malodorous at best. The taste was oily and unpleasant. And all of the chicken was fatty, and looked like skin... except it wasn't chicken. it was tripe. The whole ordeal was foul.

    November 14, 2010 at 1:52 am |
  20. PURRCY

    A couple of things I simply cannot eat if they're called by their popular names. I cannot eat a 'hoagie' if it's called a 'grinder.' It sounds to me as though it has already been chewed! Call it a 'hoagie,' and I'll love it. And, of course, those 'grits.' It's not possible for me to eat liver, eggplant or mushrooms, either. The names sound just ghastly to me.

    November 13, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  21. kan

    The brave souls should try Nato (Fermed Soy beans)..a delicacy in some parts of Japan. You eat, spit and taste still lingers...!

    November 13, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  22. rose helen militello

    eggplant parmesean,breaded,browned in olive oil ,covered with homemade tomato sauce,topped with mozzarella and then baked just until cheese melts,serve with pasta sprinkle with parm. cheese,very good.used to love lobster until i heard someone on a cooking show refer to them as spiders of the sea. that was it for me! i think i read that spiders and lobster are cousins.

    November 13, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
  23. Linda

    I would have to starve before I would eat liver, of any kind.

    November 13, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • Farhibide

      I'm with you there. I don't eat organs or anything with organs stll intact.

      November 15, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  24. Mr T

    Eggplant YUCK.

    November 13, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  25. rose helen militello

    when i was a very young girl,my dad would fix fried kidneys and fava mother would go in the other room.first you must boil the p..s out of them,literally,change the water and boil the p..s out of them again.dredge in flour,brown in olive oil serve with fava beans that have been fried in olive oil as well,little salt lots of pepper .they were delicious,but i probably would'nt eat them again,well i might if my dad was here to fix them.

    November 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  26. Bilbo the Carnivore

    How about "Rump Roast?"

    November 13, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • PURRCY

      That's nothing compared to my grand daughter's favorite food...roast beast! She used to say it when she was a toddler, and it's just become a family expression. LOL

      November 13, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
      • MEGGIE

        Same expression in our house too. It's a line from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas".

        November 14, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
    • gadzilla

      That begs the question,"Do you prefer right cheek or left, and would you like gravy with that?"

      November 14, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  27. M.C.

    I used to tease my mother all the time about her lunchtime favorite, tomato aspic. "Mom, why would anyone want to eat ASS-pick?" To this day, I haven't eaten it, but I don't know if it's because of the name or because I could never get around the concept of tomato juice jello. I think of jello as fruity, sweet, and dessert-y.

    November 13, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • gadzilla

      Yes, I agree. Two things I have never found appealing are savory gelatin concoctions, and savory bread pudding, which is also called a strata. Not gross, they just seem slightly wrong. Also slightly off in the appeal category are polenta, which seems like underdone gummy mashed potato substitute. Ditto for gnocchi, chewy gummy pseudo mashed potato balls. I know, people love that stuff, but give me straight up mashed and I'm good.

      November 14, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  28. SourMilkSea

    I dont eat Lobsters, crabs or any other shellfish for two reasons...One? They seriously are the insects of the sea! Anyone who has come face to face with a New York City Cockroach can testify that giant arthropods with antennas dont stir the appetite. But secondly? The name! Crustaceans! It doesnt even sound attractive...

    November 13, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • SourMilkSea

      Oh, and FYI...Anything that comes from larvae and is in the same family as woodlice and tongue worms (Also "crustaceans") is, most certainly, a BUG!

      November 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
    • PURRCY

      That's the same reason I cannot eat anything produced by that company, Krusteaz. I actually feel vaguely ill when I see one of their ads.

      November 13, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
    • MEGGIE

      Exactly. I don't eat shrimp either. Why does anyone eat shrimp? Disgusting ... that "thin black line" in the shrimp is the shrimp's excrement. I choose not to eat food that should be served with a pooper scooper. And squid/octopus? No way. I'm not slicing into anything that's still hanging onto the plate when I try to eat it.

      November 14, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  29. scribble

    So far I haven't read too much that is so gross that I wouldn't at least try it. I love grits, I love escargots. I have even had steak tartare which was really good. But I don't think I could eat monkey brains or chimpanzee like they do in some parts of africa. There is also a "delicacy" in northern africa that is essentially rotten meat. In Iceland they have a delicacy that is bad fish. I visited Turkey many years back and my uncle ate lamb's brains. They looked just like brains when they were served!!! Now I think these are gross, but apparently plenty of people eat these things.

    November 13, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  30. Nexo

    "Potty Pies", sold in Singapore are supposed to be like an Australian-style meat pie or a USA-style pot pie, are just too horribly named for me to order one. I realize that there is a lot of bad "Singlish" that causes errors like this, but this one just needs to be flushed.

    November 13, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  31. Linda

    My mother ate brains scrambled with eggs, remember it well. She had very different tastes than us 2 kids had, pickled pig feet, tripe, remember once seeing a beef tongue in the refrigerator telling us how good it was, cooked and sliced for sandwiches.Mother also told me about eating unborn lamb- yep that is right, when she visited Mexico. Talk about turning my stomach. I thought perhaps it came from growing up during the depression but her sister told me no. Our background is Italian but I will just settle for the pasta. As far as the ribs on bread, have seen others eat that way as well as piece of chicken on bread, fish also. Raised in the south, never ate grits.

    November 13, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  32. pblover

    Pigs' trotters and giblets - not very appealing food names. Never cared for jawbreakers either, but toad-in-a-hole is pretty good!

    November 13, 2010 at 7:48 am |
    • pblover

      Pigs' trotters are AKA pickled pigs' feet - also not very appealing!

      November 13, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  33. Merlie

    I already left my comment, but I forgot –
    MOLE sauce!
    Oh gawd, please just let out a big belch at the table instead of serving something that sounds as if it were made of leftovers from a dermatology clinic.
    (I think it's actually pronounced "moh-lay", but everyone always says MOLE)

    November 13, 2010 at 12:53 am |
  34. hangedman

    Haggis - the name is horrible, the taste is worse, and it looks the same going in as it does coming out.

    November 13, 2010 at 12:51 am |
    • PURRCY

      Yep. That's another thing I just can't eat! How anyone can drool at the anticipation of dining on haggis, I'll never understand.

      November 13, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  35. Bubba

    Our sh*t on a shingle was anything left over mixed with gravy and poured ever toast. Sometimes it was good somethimes it was bad.
    Fried mush never turned me on. Could be all the maple syrup you smother it with to give it flavor.
    Walleye cheeks were always a treat at the lake.
    Never tried it but my dad still stinks a boiled tounge sandwich is the best.

    November 13, 2010 at 12:04 am |
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